Strong food strategies enabled its 57-site managed business to not just survive but thrive during a challenging 2021, with all areas key to its food offer improved in the past 12 months including food quality, sustainability, recruitment and training, marketing and using food to drive other revenue streams.
Judges were impressed with the field to fork ethos behind the group’s enticing menus, which focus on good value, innovative and exceeding expectation dishes. Liberation Group’s collaborative relationships with suppliers, including its ever-evolving range of bespoke produce featuring beers from its brewery, was also praised by judges.
Great innovation that has helped to drive Liberation Group’s winning food performance, including impactful outside food offers and creative event menus, breakfast hampers and a new chophouse style food concept, centred around a Robata grill at the Whitmore Tap in Bristol, also impressed.
Strong financial performance around its food offer, including great like for like food sales, food margin improvements, a big increase in average customer spend per head on food and average food sales per pub, also stood out.
The group’s impactful marketing initiatives, strong training and team support, including around mental health with 10 Burnt Chef Project champions, and a strong focus on team flexibility and wellbeing were also key achievements.
High customer satisfaction levels for its food and the energy, passion and drive to continually improve its food offer, from people across all levels of the business was also applauded, particularly during a period when it was integrating 21 new pubs into the business, following its acquisition of Wadworth.